Corks, Kegs and Commentary

Events, news and musings from the crew at Hayden Beverage Company. Information on beer, wine and events in the state of Idaho

Malbec To The Main Stage

Brian Golden - Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December always means two things for me.  First, I will have to embark on the always futile journey to find a Christmas present for my father, and second, my phone will start ringing with special requests from "friends" who know I am in the wine industry.  It must be the holidays, and it must be TOP 100 season, that one time of year when wine fans hope to land their hands on whatever selections the crew at Wine Spectator has deemed worthy of the phrase "Year's Best."

That first call came in yesterday, but the specific request caught me off guard: The Achaval Ferrer Malbec Finca Bella Vista, ranked #10 for 2012.  I couldn't remember a Malbec ever cracking the top 10, so I checked.  And sure enough, this is the first time since the inception of the Wine Spectator Top 100 in 1988 that a Malbec has joined this elite group.  That is a feat that speaks not only to the quality of this beautiful wine, but to the rapidly expanding popularity of Malbec itself.

Largely disowned in its native France, Malbec found new life in the Argentina's Andean foothills, and lately U.S. wine shops are offering a bounty of good quality, inexpensive Argentine selections that have domestic producers racing to catch up.  Consumers are also beginning to seek out upper echelon, single vineyard Malbec, as demonstrated by the triple digit price tags Achaval Ferrer and others are able to charge for their premium offerings.  I would say Malbec has found its seat at the adult table.

My friend was roundly disappointed when I told him that he was SOL on the Bella Vista.  "Better luck next year" I said, already thinking the same about my prospects for Dad's Christmas present.

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